In Khalil Chamcham, Joseph Silk, John D. Barrow & Simon Saunders (eds.), The Philosophy of Cosmology. Cambridge University Press. pp. 263-282 (2017)

J. Brian Pitts
Cambridge University
Reflective equilibrium between physics and philosophy, and between GR and particle physics, is fruitful and rational. I consider the virtues of simplicity, conservatism, and conceptual coherence, along with perturbative expansions. There are too many theories to consider. Simplicity supplies initial guidance, after which evidence increasingly dominates. One should start with scalar gravity; evidence required spin 2. Good beliefs are scarce, so don't change without reason. But does conservatism prevent conceptual innovation? No: considering all serious possibilities could lead to Einstein's equations. GR is surprisingly intelligible. Energy localization makes sense if one believes Noether mathematics: an infinity of symmetries shouldn't produce just one energy. Hamiltonian change results from Lagrangian-equivalence. Causality poses conceptual questions. For GR, what are canonical 'equal-time' commutators? For massive spin 2, background causality exists but is violated. Both might be cured by engineering a background null cone respected by a gauge groupoid. Perturbative expansions can enlighten. They diagnose Einstein's 1917 'mass'-Lambda analogy. Ogievetsky-Polubarinov invented an infinity of massive spin 2 gravities---including ghost-free de Rham-Gabadadze-Tolley theories!---perturbatively, and achieved the impossible : spinors in coordinates.
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